Runescape (partially found builds of online game; 2001-2012)

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Runescape logo.png

The game's logo.

Status: Partially Found

RuneScape is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Jagex Limited, that was originally released on 4 January 2001 as a browser game made in Java. While it can be played for free, players can subscribe to become members, allowing access to far more content. The premise of the game is that players create a character within a fantasy medieval world - they can explore the world, battle monsters or other players, complete quests, or take part in minigames. It grew to become one of the most popular online games, and still enjoys an average player count that exceeds 100,000.

RuneScape has gone through continuous weekly updates throughout its 20 years history, making the current game entirely unrecognisable from the original. Despite these rapid changes, the developers did not make any systemic backups or include any version control until early 2012. As a result, the vast majority of game versions from this time are lost, with practically nothing surviving from 2003-2005.

There may have been many more versions that are unknown. However, only confirmed versions are listed here. These are known either because their version has been recovered, or they were announced in an updated news post at the time, most of which survive.[1]

Versions[edit | edit source]

The game went through numerous different file formats over time.

This search tool will scan a hard drive for all the relevant Runescape files and combine them into a single file that can be uploaded.

RuneScape Classic (2001-2003)[edit | edit source]

RuneScape as it appeared in 2001.

The very early versions of RuneScape from January 2001 to December 2002 would download files to the browser cache, usually "Temporary Internet Files". These files would be downloaded with the extensions .jag or .mem for files containing members-only content. Because they were saved from the browser, a large number of these files have been recovered from various domains in the Wayback Machine.

The most recent copy of each file downloaded would also be stored in the directory C:\WINDOWS\cache-93423-17382-59373-28323.

RuneScape file format from 2001 to 2002.

In December 2002, the format was changed - a "loader" was now downloaded instead, which would install the now-encrypted game files. This had the unfortunate effect that files were no longer saved by the Wayback Machine and would overwrite older versions following each update. From this date onwards, all versions of RuneScape Classic saved their files with names such as g34zx, in the directory C:\WINDOWS\.file_store_32.

RuneScape file format from 2002 to 2003.

RuneScape 2 (2003-2006)[edit | edit source]

RuneScape as it appeared in 2004.

RuneScape's first major overhaul came in 2003, with the development of the "3D update". Substantial changes were made to all graphics, quests, and game mechanics. Due to these changes, the game was known as RuneScape 2, with the previous versions being renamed RuneScape Classic. The beta of RuneScape 2 was launched on 1 December 2003, with the full release on 29 March 2004. The files were still stored in C:\WINDOWS\.file_store_32, but all files had strings of random numbers for names, such as 236861982.

RuneScape file format from 2003 to 2004.

The game's format was altered on 1 June 2004 - as the old format had to redownload all files on a system update, it was replaced with a new format that streamed files directly from the server. They were again still saved in C:\WINDOWS\.file_store_32, but each file had the name main_file_cache.

RuneScape file format from 2004 to 2006.
Release Date Status
1 December 2003 Lost
2 December 2003 Lost
3 December 2003 Lost
5 December 2003 Lost
9 December 2003 Lost
14 December 2003 Lost
15 December 2003 Lost
18 December 2003 Lost
7 January 2004 Found
21 January 2004 Lost
2 February 2004 Lost
10 February 2004 Lost
17 February 2004 Lost
25 February 2004 Lost
3 March 2004 Lost
9 March 2004 Lost
15 March 2004 Lost
17 March 2004 Found
22 March 2004 Lost
23 March 2004 Lost
25 March 2004 Lost
27 March 2004 Lost
29 March 2004 Lost
6 April 2004 Lost
15 April 2004 Lost
20 April 2004 Lost
5 May 2004 Found
10 May 2004 Lost
18 May 2004 Found
1 June 2004 Lost
2 June 2004 Lost
8 June 2004 Lost
14 June 2004 Lost
21 June 2004 Lost
28 June 2004 Lost
29 June 2004 Lost
13 July 2004 Lost
20 July 2004 Lost
27 July 2004 Lost
2 August 2004 Lost
9 August 2004 Lost
24 August 2004 Lost
1 September 2004 Lost
7 September 2004 Lost
14 September 2004 Lost
20 September 2004 Lost
27 September 2004 Lost
5 October 2004 Lost
14 October 2004 Lost
18 October 2004 Lost
26 October 2004 Lost
2 November 2004 Lost
17 November 2004 Lost
24 November 2004 Found
29 November 2004 Lost
6 December 2004 Lost
7 December 2004 Lost
13 December 2004 Lost
15 December 2004 Lost
21 December 2004 Lost
5 January 2005 Lost
10 January 2005 Lost
17 January 2005 Found
26 January 2005 Lost
31 January 2005 Lost
7 February 2005 Lost
15 February 2005 Lost
22 February 2005 Lost
28 February 2005 Lost
7 March 2005 Lost
14 March 2005 Lost
21 March 2005 Lost
4 April 2005 Lost
11 April 2005 Lost
18 April 2005 Found
26 April 2005 Lost
4 May 2005 Lost
9 May 2005 Lost
17 May 2005 Lost
31 May 2005 Lost
6 June 2005 Lost
13 June 2005 Found
22 June 2005 Lost
27 June 2005 Found
5 July 2005 Found
11 July 2005 Lost
19 July 2005 Lost
26 July 2005 Lost
1 August 2005 Found
9 August 2005 Lost
15 August 2005 Lost
23 August 2005 Lost
30 August 2005 Found
6 September 2005 Lost
12 September 2005 Lost
19 September 2005 Found
26 September 2005 Found
4 October 2005 Lost
17 October 2005 Found
24 October 2005 Lost
31 October 2005 Lost
7 November 2005 Lost
14 November 2005 Lost
22 November 2005 Found
28 November 2005 Lost
5 December 2005 Lost
12 December 2005 Lost
19 December 2005 Lost
4 January 2006 Lost
10 January 2006 Lost
16 January 2006 Lost
19 January 2006 Lost
23 January 2006 Found
30 January 2006 Lost
7 February 2006 Found
20 February 2006 Found
27 February 2006 Found
7 March 2006 Lost
15 March 2006 Found
22 March 2006 Lost
28 March 2006 Found
3 April 2006 Found
10 April 2006 Found
18 April 2006 Lost
20 April 2006 Found
24 April 2006 Found
2 May 2006 Found

RuneScape HD (2006-2012)[edit | edit source]

RuneScape as it appeared in 2008.
RuneScape as it appears today.

On 15 May 2006, the game's engine was updated again. Although altered several times over the next few years, this format would remain roughly consistent throughout. There would be many significant changes during this time, such as the launch of RuneScape HD in 2008, a complete revamp of the game's unique combat system in 2012, and the release of RuneScape 3 in 2013. Continual updates and improvements during this time meant the game was very different from how it was in 2006.

While files still had the name main_file_cache, they were moved to the new directory C:\WINDOWS\.file_store_32\runescape. On 29 January 2007, this changed again to C:\WINDOWS\.jagex_cache_32\runescape, before finally being changed again to C:\Users\[USERNAME]\jagexcache in 2011.

RuneScape file format from 2006 to the present.
Release Date Status
16 May 2006 Lost
22 May 2006 Lost
31 May 2006 Lost
6 June 2006 Lost
13 June 2006 Found
21 June 2006 Lost
27 June 2006 Lost
4 July 2006 Lost
11 July 2006 Lost
17 July 2006 Lost
24 July 2006 Found
31 July 2006 Found
7 August 2006 Found
15 August 2006 Lost
22 August 2006 Lost
29 August 2006 Lost
4 September 2006 Found
20 September 2006 Found
27 September 2006 Lost
2 October 2006 Lost
11 October 2006 Lost
18 October 2006 Found
23 October 2006 Lost
30 October 2006 Found
6 November 2006 Lost
13 November 2006 Found
21 November 2006 Found
28 November 2006 Lost
5 December 2006 Lost
12 December 2006 Lost
18 December 2006 Found
4 January 2007 Lost
10 January 2007 Found
16 January 2007 Lost
22 January 2007 Lost
29 January 2007 Found
6 February 2007 Found
12 February 2007 Found
14 February 2007 Lost
19 February 2007 Lost
6 March 2007 Found
13 March 2007 Found
20 March 2007 Lost
27 March 2007 Lost
2 April 2007 Found
10 April 2007 Lost
18 April 2007 Found
24 April 2007 Lost
30 April 2007 Lost
8 May 2007 Lost
15 May 2007 Lost
29 May 2007 Found
4 June 2007 Lost
11 June 2007 Found
18 June 2007 Found
26 June 2007 Lost
3 July 2007 Found
9 July 2007 Found
17 July 2007 Found
24 July 2007 Lost
6 August 2007 Found
13 August 2007 Found
28 August 2007 Lost
3 September 2007 Found
10 September 2007 Found
18 September 2007 Found
2 October 2007 Lost
9 October 2007 Lost
16 October 2007 Lost
22 October 2007 Found
5 November 2007 Lost
12 November 2007 Lost
20 November 2007 Lost
26 November 2007 Lost
10 December 2007 Found
18 December 2007 Found
2 January 2008 Found
15 January 2008 Lost
22 January 2008 Found
29 January 2008 Found
5 February 2008 Lost
13 February 2008 Lost
19 February 2008 Lost
22 February 2008 Lost
25 February 2008 Found
4 March 2008 Lost
11 March 2008 Found
18 March 2008 Found
31 March 2008 Found
9 April 2008 Found
15 April 2008 Lost
22 April 2008 Lost
7 May 2008 Lost
13 May 2008 Found
21 May 2008 Found
5 June 2008 Found
11 June 2008 Found
1 July 2008 Found
14 July 2008 Found
29 July 2008 Found
5 August 2008 Lost
12 August 2008 Found
19 August 2008 Found
26 August 2008 Lost
2 September 2008 Lost
9 September 2008 Lost
15 September 2008 Found
29 September 2008 Found
15 October 2008 Lost
28 October 2008 Lost
11 November 2008 Found
26 November 2008 Found
9 December 2008 Lost
16 December 2008 Found
6 January 2009 Found
13 January 2009 Lost
20 January 2009 Lost
27 January 2009 Found
10 February 2009 Found
25 February 2009 Found
3 March 2009 Found
17 March 2009 Found
25 March 2009 Lost
1 April 2009 Lost
8 April 2009 Found
21 April 2009 Lost
28 April 2009 Lost
6 May 2009 Found
12 May 2009 Found
19 May 2009 Found
27 May 2009 Lost
2 June 2009 Lost
9 June 2009 Found
16 June 2009 Lost
22 June 2009 Found
8 July 2009 Lost
15 July 2009 Found
21 July 2009 Lost
28 July 2009 Found
10 August 2009 Lost
18 August 2009 Found
2 September 2009 Found
9 September 2009 Found
17 September 2009 Lost
23 September 2009 Found
7 October 2009 Found
13 October 2009 Lost
20 October 2009 Lost
26 October 2009 Found
9 November 2009 Found
17 November 2009 Found
26 November 2009 Found
3 December 2009 Lost
8 December 2009 Lost
15 December 2009 Lost
21 December 2009 Found
11 January 2010 Found
19 January 2010 Found
1 February 2010 Found
8 February 2010 Found
16 February 2010 Lost
22 February 2010 Found
3 March 2010 Found
15 March 2010 Lost
23 March 2010 Found
29 March 2010 Found
12 April 2010 Found
21 April 2010 Lost
28 April 2010 Found
13 May 2010 Lost
25 May 2010 Lost
27 May 2010 Found
9 June 2010 Lost
15 June 2010 Found
24 June 2010 Found
5 July 2010 Found
19 July 2010 Found
4 August 2010 Lost
10 August 2010 Lost
19 August 2010 Found
25 August 2010 Lost
1 September 2010 Found
7 September 2010 Lost
15 September 2010 Found
21 September 2010 Found
6 October 2010 Lost
12 October 2010 Found
18 October 2010 Found
2 November 2010 Found
9 November 2010 Found
24 November 2010 Lost
1 December 2010 Lost
7 December 2010 Found
14 December 2010 Found
20 December 2010 Lost
4 January 2011 Found
10 January 2011 Found
17 January 2011 Found
1 February 2011 Lost
9 February 2011 Found
15 February 2011 Lost
21 February 2011 Lost
1 March 2011 Lost
8 March 2011 Found
15 March 2011 Found
28 March 2011 Found
4 April 2011 Lost
12 April 2011 Found
19 April 2011 Found
3 May 2011 Found
16 May 2011 Found
25 May 2011 Lost
1 June 2011 Found
7 June 2011 Found
14 June 2011 Found
28 June 2011 Found
5 July 2011 Found
12 July 2011 Lost
26 July 2011 Found
9 August 2011 Found
17 August 2011 Lost
23 August 2011 Found
31 August 2011 Lost
6 September 2011 Found
14 September 2011 Found
21 September 2011 Found
28 September 2011 Found
4 October 2011 Found
12 October 2011 Found
17 October 2011 Found
25 October 2011 Lost
1 November 2011 Lost
7 November 2011 Found
22 November 2011 Found
28 November 2011 Found
6 December 2011 Found
13 December 2011 Found
20 December 2011 Lost

Sources[edit | edit source]

Recovery of the lost game versions is currently being tracked in this spreadsheet. [2]

The search effort is being coordinated in this Discord server.

Runescape cache finder

References[edit | edit source]